Executive Committee approves proposal for SU budget
Executive Committee approves proposal for SU budgetFebruary 06, 2004Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
The Executive Committee of Syracuse University’s Board of Trustees voted today to approve tuition and fees for the fiscal year 2004-05 budget, with an undergraduate tuition increase of 6.4 percent and graduate tuition increase of 8.6 percent. Those increases will result in a balanced budget and fuel a $21.1 million bump in educational and general expenditures, including a 3 percent salary and wage budget increase and a 7.4 percent increase in undergraduate tuition aid, as well as spending on several new SU initiatives.
According to John B. Hogan, director of the Office of Budget and Planning, the plan satisfies Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw’s requirement that the next SU Chancellor not begin work with a budget deficit. The budget currently in place has a $1.1 million deficit. The plan meets the Board of Trustees’ balanced-budget guidelines, which require that five-year cumulative bottom lines must not be negative and do not allow a single-year deficit of more than $2 million.
The plan was drafted by the University Senate’s Committee on Budget and Fiscal Affairs, made up of two undergraduate students, one graduate student, six SU staff members and 10 faculty members. The final version was presented to the Executive Committee by Shaw. The approval allows the full Board to vote on the budget in May.
In addition to regular increases in compensation, student aid and other spending, several previously unmet needs identified in the University’s five-year budget plan are addressed in part in the fiscal 2004-05 budget.
The revenue raised by the tuition increase will support several five-year funding initiatives, including more than $4 million in spending on graduate education; a $2 million increase for a strategic faculty development fund, intended to boost faculty wages in targeted areas; and $1 million in additional pay adjustments for mid-level (Category 3) staff, to bring their salaries into line with those at other universities.
New spending for policy changes and athletics
Two recent policy discussions are also reflected in the increase: The decision to revise the class scheduling paradigm has resulted in an extra $80,000 to cover additional dining hall and shuttle costs related to earlier class start times, which will begin in the Spring 2005 semester; and the budget plan allocates an extra $160,000 for expenses likely to be incurred by New York legislation that upgrades selected Department of Public Safety officers to peace officer status. The increase also jump-starts a new part-time faculty travel fund, supports increased fund-raising spending, and covers adjustments to space operating costs for new campus facilities. It will also raise enough revenue for a $450,000 subsidy for the Athletics Department, intended to partly soften the financial impact of Big East restructuring.
Tuition, fee increases approved
Shaw’s proposal to the Executive Committee calls for a 6.4 percent increase in undergraduate tuition, to $25,720. According to the University’s five-year budget plan, the annual tuition increase should drop back to 6 percent in future years.
Required undergraduate fees will increase by 4.1 percent, to $1,011; room and board will increase by approximately 4 percent, reaching $10,300 for the most popular combination of room choice and meal plan.
According to the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Affairs, SU’s undergraduate students will still enjoy a price advantage over their peers at similar universities. Among the 32 private institutions belonging to the Association of American Universities – an organization of 60 elite research universities in the United States and two in Canada – SU’s total undergraduate cost will be approximately $1,600 lower than the mean, in line with previous years’ price advantages.
College of Law tuition will increase by 6.4 percent; graduate students’ tuition will increase by 8.6 percent, with 2.2 percent of that increase for graduate education initiatives. As with undergraduate tuition, those yearly increases are predicted to drop back to their regular 6 percent and 8.2 percent increments, respectively, in the fiscal 2005-06 budget.